Knights in shining armor. White horses. Fair maidens. All the magnificent trappings of a bygone era come to life at Medieval Times, where ironclad knights clash for the title of King's Champion in front of a wide-eyed audience that peppers the battlefield with cheers and jeers between bites of a four-course dinner. Each two-hour tournament channels the pageantry and spectacle of 11th-century Spain, pitting six competitors against each other inside a spacious, sand-filled arena for the honor of earning the title of champion and the favor of the royal court. A spirited musical score infuses epic onslaughts with an extra dose of tension as adversaries joust atop stallions, deflect ferocious blows, and slice through suits forged of authentic junk mail. To further immerse guests in the fairy tale, Medieval Times encourages each guest to declare their allegiance by cheering loudly for the knight in their corner.
Like royal guests centuries ago, spectators bask in the revelry while feasting upon a finger-friendly bill of fare without the aid of utensils or the "choo-choo" sounds of parents. The four-course feast includes a tomato-bisque soup starter, oven-roasted chicken with a garlic-bread side, single spare rib, and an herb-basted potato. Servers periodically fill patrons? goblets with soda or water, which adults can supplement with purchases from a full-service bar. Meals conclude with the castle's sweet pastry dessert.
The humidity is high within King's Court Health and Sports Club's sauna, nearing 100% as hot stones send steam up to the ceiling. The high temperatures and moist air help exercisers sweat out toxins, and it can aid workouts by speeding muscle recovery. And that's all without even leaving the men's or women's locker room.
Outside of these private areas, a full weight room and other workout facilities unfurl a panoply of exercising options. Racquetball and basketball courts host friendly competitions, while an indoor track gives runners a safe place to train for their next race or bout of sleepwalking. Meanwhile, the onsite nursery keeps track of little ones, so adults have enough time to get a solid workout in.
King's personal trainers can accelerate workout results, while group fitness classes burn fat in supportive environments. Depending on the day and time, instructors lead high-energy sessions of Zumba, belly dancing, kickboxing, or other group classes.
At Movement Journeys, the experienced staff teach a wide variety of classes, including belly dance, Pilates, and Ashtanga yoga. The outfit balances out its workout fare with jazz, Zumba, and ballroom-dance classes designed to help students stimulate their creativity and move in different ways. They offer most classes in levels that range from beginner to virtuoso and age groups that range from 13 years of age to seniors, ensuring every student learns at a comfortable pace.
A licensed chiropractor and experienced martial artist, Dr. John Surie started practicing hot yoga when he met his future wife, Natalie. Charmed by her Australian accent and passion for the practice, he soon became an avid Bikram student himself, and in 2002, the husband-and-wife duo opened their first studio with Natalie helming her own curriculum of Bikram-inspired classes. Today, their hot-yoga empire has expanded to five studios sprinkled across the United States and Australia, each teeming with certified instructors who lead students through nine class styles. Designed to make hot yoga accessible to everyone, classes range from the studio?s signature Ignite series, which introduces newcomers to the foundations of hot yoga, to intense Shape classes that see stretchers melding hot-yoga and Pilates moves while solving Pythagorean equations.
Each studio comes equipped with special flooring tailored to the humid environment of hot yoga, as well as air-circulation and advanced heating systems to keep fresh, hot air blowing.
During Shiva Shanti Yoga School's Vinyasa-style yoga classes, founder and advanced-certified jiva mukti teacher Felise Berman guides students toward inner peace with outward expressions of love, joy, and gratitude. Known as Shivadasi to her pupils, she draws upon studies at India's Bihar Yoga Bharati Institute for Advanced Studies to fill multilevel routines with ancient poses and meditation exercises. Most sessions begin with Shivadasi's signature sun salutation, which unites 24 asanas that warm the muscles and focus the brain. As the class progresses, deep breaths weave movements into a graceful flow. In addition to hosting Vinyasa classes, Shivadasi and her teaching team lead yoga nidra sessions, which relax the body as the mind explores lucid dreams.
Seeking the formula for an ideal gym, Bob Bonham spent 15 years exploring other fitness facilities, talking to trainers, and studying equipment—all the while taking note of what worked and what didn't. He put all of his research to good use, opening Strong and Shapely Gym in 1984, packing its 25,000 square feet with professional strength-training equipment and cardio machines. He organized the workout areas by body part, an innovative design concept that won praise from Bodybuilding.com.
Today, you can spot fitness seekers of all stripes at the 24-hour facility, from regular moms and dads to famous bodybuilders. A staff of certified trainers inhabit the gym, conducting personal-training sessions and leading group fitness classes, such as yoga and Pilates. The expert staff eagerly supply members with fitness tips and advice, from tactics to prevent workout boredom to instructions for donating old gym socks for use as therapy puppets. The gym boasts a variety of convenient amenities, including onsite tanning, childcare, and a supplements store.